What’s in a name?

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

What makes some celebrity endorsements  a trend-setting success while others end up in the bargain bin? Rebecca Gonsalves reports

Stephen Manderson has a few words of advice for his fellow celebrities: “Know what you’re good at.” The drug dealer-turned-rapper and reality-show star has many strings to his bow, one of which is working with the sports brand Puma on his own apparel line.

Manderson’s second collection has just arrived in stores and encapsulates the street-cum-sportswear that goes hand in hand with so much urban music. “Designer” is increasingly a tag that musicians and actors wear proudly, as it seems everyone from Rihanna to John Malkovich (the former lending her name to River Island, the latter has his own label Technobohemian) is ready to sketch out a vision for fans.

Kanye West’s collaboration with A.P.C. happened after a mutual friend introduced him to Jean Touitou, the founder of the French ready-to-wear brand. His line for APC consists of eight pieces which sold out online on the day it went on sale. This is in contrast to West’s previous fashion venture, a ready-to-wear collection that showed for two seasons as part of Paris Fashion Week and was largely lambasted despite West’s supposed fashion credentials.

In Manderson’s case, the approach came from the brand: “Puma got in touch and I was like: ‘Well sportswear, I’m not very athletic how is this going to work?’ Back then the catch line was ‘the after-hours athlete’, which I can endorse fully.”

The success of celebrity lines has long depended on the strength of their own style. Rihanna’s collections for River Island are a case in point; Women’s Wear Daily encapsulated her latest collection thus: “The looks were all variations on things from her wardrobe.” 

“You can’t endorse every little thing,” Manderson says. “We say no to a lot more than we say yes to... If I put my name to something then that’s representative of my entire brand; if I do something I want to do it properly.”

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor